STAFF members past and present called the National Health Service ‘a way of

life’ as they reunited at local hospitals to celebrate 70 years of the NHS.

Former nurses, sisters, and administrative staff joined their current counterparts

for tea parties at the Dilke and Lydney & District Hospitals last Thursday.

Among them was Mary Freeman, who lives near Ruardean, who celebrates her birthday at the same time having been born at the Dilke 70 years ago this week.

“My mother and father would have had to pay to have me if it weren’t for the NHS,” said Mary, who was born on July 8.

“A few weeks later, a nurse came round and told my parents they didn’t have to pay because it was covered on the new National Health Service.

“At first, people didn’t see the NHS as being something that would cover everything,

but just ensuring doctor’s appointments.”

Mrs Megan Knight worked at the Dilke for a number of years in the x-ray department

and described herself as ‘doing a bit of everything’ at the Cinderford hospital.

“The NHS is a way of life,” she said.

“You go in with a passion for people and you work with likeminded colleagues.”

The two events were organised by Denise Edmunds, who was delighted

with the turnout at both the Dilke and Lydney.

She was ably supported by healthcare assistant Stacey Sargent, who described the

Dilke as the ‘best place she’d worked’.

“There’s something special about working for the NHS and everyone coming together as a team to help people,” she said.

Denise, who has worked at the Dilke for 28 years, added: “The NHS to me is about

teamwork and doing your very best for people every time.”